Craft Workshops

Get Out of the Dumps! Turning Backstory into Character Development
“Too much backstory in the first chapter.” It’s the response every author dreads. It’s the one sure-fire way to get a book rejected. Backstory, everyone says, should be delivered with an eyedropper throughout the text. But HOW do you do that when so much information is necessary for the reader to understand what’s going on? This class breaks down what a backstory dump looks like and offers three main solutions to using “what came before” to support the plot, development the main characters, and provide motivation for supporting characters. (novice & intermediate)

A Cut Above: Taking Your Craft to the Next Level
Intended as a small, continuing class over several days, this workshop is an intense, interactive practicum for troubleshooting plot and character development. Participants should have a finished manuscript and specific questions about criticisms they’ve received or changes they want to make. They must be willing to share details in a classroom setting. (intermediate and advanced)

What DO They Want? – That Vital First Page
You can sell your book with the first page. A look at how editors review a new manuscript, what really gets their attention, and tips on crafting the first page. (novice & intermediate)

Tag, You’re It: Crafting Dialogue to Reveal Character
“He Said/She Said” should describe a book’s conflict, not the repetition of annoying dialogue tags. The way a character speaks should be as individual as a fingerprint. This session covers 5 tips to intensify a character’s voice and syntax as distinct as their actions.
(novice & intermediate)

A Lady to Love: Turning Your Heroine’s GMC into an Irresistible ARC
This advanced craft workshop takes an intensive look at the character development that will turn your heroine from engaging to unforgettable. Participants should have completed at least one novel. They will be asked to bring a description of an unforgettable heroine from the movies. Workshop tasks include filling out a character sheet for their own heroine and providing sample dialogue and descriptive passages from their novel. (advanced)

A Gentleman to Admire: Turning Your Hero’s GMC into an Unforgettable ARC
This advanced craft workshop is a companion to “A Lady to Love,” and focuses on character development tips that will turn a hero from enticing to cherished and extraordinary. Participants should have completed at least one novel. They will be asked to bring a description of an unforgettable hero from the movies. Workshop tasks include filling out a character sheet for their own hero and providing sample dialogue and descriptive passages from their novel. (advanced)

Shoot Someone: Ten Tips on Turning Your Middle from Muddle to Magnificent
Every novelist struggles sooner or later with a “middle malfunction.” This session features work-horse tips and writing exercises for revitalizing a droopy middle or jumpstarting a stalled one.
(intermediate & advanced)

Marathon: Finishing Your First Draft in 30 Days or Less
If you’ve ever thought, “I can write better than that!” then this workshop is for you. A lot of people have great ideas and start a book, but never finish. Some even enter “book in a month” contests, then stall out after only a few chapters. This workshop will provide readers interested in writing as well as experienced authors the guidelines necessary for finishing the first draft of a novel in 30 days or less.
(all levels)